Gastric Band Surgery Q&A

Two of our leading bariatric specialists answer common questions on gastric band surgery including what's involved in the procedure, recovery and alternative options.

Mr Rishi Singhal
A gastric band is an adjustable silicone device placed around the upper section of the stomach, creating a small pouch above the band and thereby restricting the amount of food that can be comfortably eaten. 


Mr Siba Senapati
Gastric band is a silicone ring with locking mechanism used to restrict the amount of oral intake with a view to treat obesity. It is placed in the upper end of the stomach just below the gullet by keyhole surgery. It has got a connecting tube with a port which is placed usually in the upper abdominal wall below the skin. Fluid can be added or removed from the band to narrow the opening of the band to the lower stomach depending on the patient’s weight loss and restriction required.

Mr Rishi Singhal
A Gastric band is a type of bariatric procedure which is performed to aid weight loss and to improve many of the medical problems a patient may have.


Mr Siba Senapati
Gastric band is a type of bariatric or weight loss surgery. It works by restricting the amount of oral intake. It does not involve any removal of parts of the stomach or any joining of the small bowel. Literature suggests that the expected weight loss is 50% of the excess weight, the normal BMI (Body Mass Index is calculated by weight in kilogram divided height in meters squared) being 25 and obesity above 30.

Mr Rishi Singhal
It is a short day case procedure which is performed under general anaesthetic. You would need a regular follow up with dieticians in order to maintain and promote a successful weight loss, as well as having the band adjusted.


Mr Siba Senapati
The procedure involves placing the band around the junction of gullet and stomach under general anaesthetic and done as a keyhole procedure. The port which is part of the band is placed under the skin and fixed to the muscle in the upper abdomen to prevent it from flipping. The band and port are connected with a tube so that the opening of the band can be narrowed or widened as necessary after clinical assessment of the patient by the bariatric team. Usually the patients stays overnight but can also be done as a day-case.

Mr Rishi Singhal
Other bariatric operations include Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy and Laparoscopic Roux En Y Gastric Bypass.


Mr Siba Senapati
The alternative weight loss procedures to gastric banding are sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass. Sleeve gastrectomy is also a restrictive bariatric procedure where nearly three quarter of the stomach is removed again by keyhole surgery. The gastric bypass is a combined procedure where there is an element of restriction and malabsorption. A small pouch of the stomach is created and the small bowel is joined to it in such a way that the bile and pancreatic juices mix with  the food a bit lower in the bowel, thereby bypassing a proportion of the bowel where digestion and absorption does not occur. Other malabsorptive procedures like Biliopancreatic diversion or Duodenal switch are available but because of their significant malabsorptive effect and the patient needs to be monitored very carefully through out the life, hence very rarely performed.

Mr Rishi Singhal
The choice of surgery is based upon what best fits your needs. The choice of procedure is usually a discussion between you and your treating consultant.


Mr Siba Senapati
In gastric band surgery there is no need for removal or bypassing of the stomach or small bowel. Usually carried out by keyhole surgery under general anaesthetic as a day-case or overnight stay. The procedure takes less than an hour to do.

Mr Rishi Singhal
All procedures are associated with a small risk. You need to weigh these risks against the risk posed to your health by being overweight.


Mr Siba Senapati
Every surgery does carry risks and gastric band surgery is no different. The general complications specific to bariatric surgery are risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism hence most surgeons use prophylaxis measures in the form flowtron boots during surgery and medications such as clexane or its equivalent to carry on longer depending on each patient. There is also risk of bleeding, injury to organs around and wound infection. However the delayed complications are slippage of the gastric band, worsening reflux, port and tube related problems, erosion of the band to the stomach inadequate weight loss or comorbidity (associated diseases because of obesity) resolution.

Mr Rishi Singhal
You will usually be discharged the same day following surgery. Recovery on average should take 2 weeks but it will depend on your individual characteristics.


Mr Siba Senapati
It usually takes a week or two to recover from gastric band surgery.

Mr Rishi Singhal
Weight loss is an ongoing commitment. The dieticians and bariatric nurses will help and assist you in making and then maintaining lifestyle changes before and after bariatric surgery


Mr Siba Senapati
Before any bariatric surgery patients are put on liver diet for at least week or two depending on the severity of obesity. The aim being to shrink the liver which helps during surgery also it encourages patients to make them aware that their calorie intake will be less after surgery as well as portion size. There are various  types of liver reducing diet but In essence one has to take less than 1000 calories in a day.

After surgery patients stays on liquids for 2-3 weeks then semisolids or pureed diet for 2-3 weeks before proceeding to solids. Portion sizes are usually less and if portion size increases then it is time for band fill which can be done in the clinic through the port or under x-ray control. Patients are encouraged to eat healthy and do more exercise by the whole bariatric team. The weight loss and comorbidity resolution is slow thereby one would argue that there is less chance of excess loose skin 

Mr Siba Senapati
My childhood dream was to be a surgeon. I like the challenges of medicine especially surgery. By performing appropriate surgery at the right time one can cure and/or alleviate human suffering always amazes me even though I have been consultant surgeon for last 13 years.

Mr Siba Senapati
In addition to achieve my childhood dream and goal, I am NHS based at Salford University Hospital which is one of the Best and Safest hospitals in the country with excellent colleagues and team. Participated in many National and International conferences with presentation of our work and great learning from other eminent surgeons across the globe. Along with colleagues in NHS and peers created the Obesity Awareness and Support group in Manchester (OASIS-GB) to tackle the current obesity epidemic our society faces today.

To find out more about gastric band surgery or other weight loss procedures call us on 0808 101 0337 or make an online enquiry.